This Model’s Photo Project Challenges Racism In The Fashion Industry

by Erika W. Smith

The fashion industry has a long, long, long way to go — particularly in regards to race. And model Deddeh Howard, who was born in Liberia and now lives in Los Angeles, is doing something about it.

Howard worked with photographer Raffael Dickreuter to recreate major fashion campaigns that feature white models — and she slays in every single photo. The photo series is titled “Black Mirror,” and Howard writes, “I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen.”

3 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter gisele bundchen vivara campaign secretofdd

Explaining why she created the series, Howard writes:

Not too long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model. Besides having an abundance of white models. It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre.

For this project I decided to re-shoot several of the inspiring and famous campaigns out there and try to show what they could look like with a black model. Teaming up with Photographer Raffael Dickreuter it was a big challenge to reverse engineer and re-shoot these images and get as close as possible to the original. Even though it was a big challenge it was important and necessary to do it.

Yesterday at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show you could see the same pattern you can see at New York fashion week or any other famous fashion events: black girls are almost invisible. There is the odd one here and there, but it always feels like an afterthought. We live in a globalized world with nowadays many interracial couples producing mixed babies. Why can’t the big brands not embrace our diversity more and give all of us visibility?

We hope the fashion industry takes note! See more of Deddeh Howard’s amazing recreations below:

4 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter kendall jenner calvin klein campaign secretofdd

1 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter chanel linda evangelsita campaign secretofdd

9 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter gigi hadid guess motorcycle indian denim jean secretofdd 2

2 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter chanel secretofdd campaign

8 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter david yurman kate moss campaign secretofdd

5 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter michelle williams louis vuitton campaign

7 deddeh howard raffael dickreuter candice swanepoel victorias secret underwear secretofdd


More from BUST

7 Holiday Gifts For Fashionable Feminists

Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Lupita Nyong’o Go Makeup-Free And Unretouched In New Pirelli Calendar

These Lipsticks Reclaim Sexist Slurs With Style

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.